Kids look forward to going to summer camp all year long. However, packing for camp can be a hassle due to limited space and uncertain weather. Most summer camps will provide a list of must-have items and a few things that are not allowed. To help you stay on top of your game, Kinsights has compiled a comprehensive checklist to make sure you’re totally prepared for camp season this year.
Clothing - As parents we try to control everything we can to insure our little campers have a memorable camping experience, that includes making sure they have proper clothing and shoes to keep them warm and dry. Pack items like:
- Tennis shoes, hiking boots and flip flops for the shower
- T-shirts, flannels or light sweatshirts that can be layered or shed to meet the changing weather throughout the day
- Pants and shorts (enough for 1.5x the length of camp)
- A light jacket or rain poncho
Include some old clothes that kids don't need to worry about getting dirty or possibly damaging at a camp fire or while climbing trees. Be sure to mark your child’s name or initials in all clothing items.
Toiletries – Good hygiene definitely make camp more pleasant; include a wash cloth, two towels (one for bathing, one for swimming), toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant and other items necessary for good personal hygiene. Pack these items in a large vinyl zippered pouch to protect clothing in case they leak from altitude changes. The pouch will also make it easy to take to the showers when it’s time to clean up.
Bedding - Be sure to check out the camp’s requirements for bedding. If the campers will be sleeping indoors, sheets and a blanket or a sleeping bag should be fine. However, if your little camper will be out in a tent, make sure you have an air mattress, pump and a properly rated sleeping bag for the expected weather conditions at night.
UV Protection - Sunscreen and insect repellant will protect your child’s skin from sunburn and unwanted insect bites. If your child is camping at high altitude, the sun’s UV rays can be much more damaging. Instruct your camper to apply it several times a day to stay protected, especially if they participate in water activities. You should also want to pack a hat to wear on hikes for added protection.
Flashlight - If your camper is roughing it for the week at an outdoor camp site, you won’t want to forget a flashlight with extra batteries for late night outhouse visits. Be sure to include any medications your child is taking with written instructions for the camp nurse as well as some band aids and antibacterial ointment for any small cuts or scrapes.
A Piece of Home - Prevent homesickness by including a favorite item from home, like a stuffed animal, a family photo or a trinket that will help him feel secure while away. Include pre-addressed stamped envelopes or post cards so they can stay in touch and share their camping experience with you while they are away.
Entertainment – Books, playing cards and word games can help pass the time in case of inclement weather.
Money - If there is a camp store, ask the camp director for a recommendation on how much money to send for extra expenses like off-site trips, snacks and souvenirs. Making sure your child is prepared will ensure they have an excellent camping experience.
Medical Records - One of the most important things to have on hand in case of an emergency are your child’s health records – recent immunizations, allergies, medications, ongoing medical issues, insurance and pediatrician contact info. Use a handy tool like Kinsights to easily create and maintain a personal health record for your child. No more searching through drawers to find the most up-to-date information. Put a copy in your child’s suitcase and leave one with the camp leader or physician.
Keep this checklist handy to make packing for camp easy, so that your kids can spend less time getting ready for camp and more time having fun!
Meet Kinsights: part parenting community, part online health record, co-founded by Jennifer Chung. Kinsights provides parents with a safe place to seek answers to their questions while also helping them track their child’s health information. Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more. Connect with Kinsights at their website to learn more and sign up! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.